Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Libya

Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Monday August 01, 2016 - 09:57:00 AM

I am deeply concerned about the expansion of U.S. airstrikes in Libya. The U.S. military continues to become more engaged in the Middle East, despite the lack of a Congressional debate or specific authorization. 

As our brave servicemen and women become increasingly involved in this war, Speaker Ryan and Congressional Republicans closed the House for a historically long summer recess. Instead of shutting down the House, Congress should be debating this nearly two year war. 

The American people and our brave men and women in uniform deserve a public debate on this war, including the costs and consequences to our national security and domestic priorities. They deserve a Congress with the courage to debate the war that we are asking them to fight. 

I have called for and will continue to use every available legislative lever to force a full congressional debate and vote on any military action, as required by the Constitution. We must stop relying on an outdated and overly broad authorization that was passed nearly 15 years ago. 

Our military experts are clear: there is no military solution to this crisis. Only a comprehensive, regionally-led strategy that addresses the underlying political, economic, humanitarian and diplomatic challenges will be effective in ultimately degrading and dismantling ISIL.” 

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity